OPINION: WONDER LAND NOVEMBER 11, 2009, 7:41 P.M. ET
Why Fort Hood Really Happened
In war, uncertainty gets you killed. It just did.
By DANIEL HENNINGER
The only good news out of the Fort Hood massacre is that U.S. electronic surveillance technology was able to pick up Major Hasan’s phone calls to an al Qaeda-loving imam in Yemen. The bad news is the people and agencies listening to Hasan didn’t know what to do about it. Other than nothing.
Next week, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) will convene the Homeland Security Committee to find out if someone in the Army or FBI dropped the ball on Hasan. At Ford Hood itself, grief has been turning to anger as news of possible dropped balls has emerged.
Earlier in the week at Fort Hood, President Obama spoke about the consequences of doing nothing. He named and described each of the 13 dead. That properly gave individual reality to what soon will become “the victims of Fort Hood.”
This is how it always goes. For about a week after these awful incidents—such as the USS Cole bombing in Yemen (year 2000, 17 dead)—the rest of us feel, just a little, what the surviving families feel. This week, 13 American families are shattered, forever. It’s a big deal, the biggest deal there is.
On Tuesday night at 9:06 p.m. in Virginia, the state executed the Beltway sniper, John Allen Muhammad, who gunned down 10 in 2002. The day before the execution, the father of a dead daughter described why he would witness it:
“I want to see what he made me see. He forced us to look at our little girl laying in a coffin. I want to see justice done. I want to see him take a last breath. I want to be able to describe it to the rest of the family.”